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Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads (Touring the Backroads) Paperback – October 1, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This guidebook is so encyclopedic in scope that I give it as a gift to newcomers to the area. Even though I am a native of the area, I learned nearly everything I know about western North Carolina from this book alone, and it remains my primary reference." --Reader review

About the Author

Carolyn Sakowski is a native of Morganton, North Carolina. She holds a B.A. in history from Queens University of Charlotte and a M.A. in history from Appalachian State University. She lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she is the president of John F. Blair, Publisher. Her previous books include Touring the East Tennessee Backroads and Travel North Carolina.
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Product Details

  • Series: Touring the Backroads
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: John F Blair Pub; 3 edition (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895875594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895875594
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
76%
4 star
20%
3 star
0%
2 star
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1 star
4%
See all 25 customer reviews
I gave this book to my son-in-law for his birthday and he really loves it.
Joan
We've driven half or so of the tours so far, and would highly recommend it to anyone who lives or frequently visits western NC.
Jared Yates
Similar to the "off the beaten path" series only better, written by life long residents that obviously love their home state!
Kic Stander

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
This guidebook, unlike most, is so encyclopedic in scope that I give it as a gift to newcomers to the area. It is also an invaluable reference for the visitor who wants to see more than the fabulous Biltmore Estate. Even though I am a native of the area, I learned nearly everything I know about Western North Carolina from this book alone and it is my primary reference. I am still amazed at how much fact, history and folklore [just enough to bring alive the curve of the road, the odd landmark, the abandoned building] is packed in its 300 pages. The author, who must have collapsed from exhaustion when she finished it, takes you on a detailed tour, laid out by the tenth of the mile, of carefully drawn sections of backroads that you can follow leisurely without getting lost. The author is completely absent from the text. The lucid style will please readers who want the facts, not editorial comment. This book, as well as the others in this publisher's backroads series, makes an excellent gift for anyone, especially the many seniors who have relocated, or are considering relocating to this fascinating region. It is also a valuable reference for natives, like me, who didn't know how much they didn't know.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Patrick A. Nichols on October 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
This will lead you to interesting places that are mostly not well known. The views are stunning. A hiker on the Appalachian Trail said the view from Wayah Bald is the best on the trail. The only problem we had is that road numbers have been changed to names, but most of the numbers were still in fine print on the signs.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kic Stander on July 31, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was introduced to this book by a friend and ended up buying the whole series! If you want to know more about western NC and spend your days enjoying a well written dialog that accurately directs you to place the other guides don't even mention, Buy this book. If you want a restaurant guide look elsewhere. I can wholeheartedly recommend the entire series from this publisher. Similar to the "off the beaten path" series only better, written by life long residents that obviously love their home state!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Speedo on March 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Since I recently moved to North Carolina, spending my free time towards the mountains became a must. Carolyn has saved me countless hours of researching where to go and what to do. I am glad to find such an informative book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jared Yates on November 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is absolutely fantastic. We've driven half or so of the tours so far, and would highly recommend it to anyone who lives or frequently visits western NC. The best part of the book is the historical information. You could drive past a historically important site and never notice it or understand the significance of it, but this book helps keep you aware of even the smallest details. Watch out for the mileage numbers- it may seem like a 90 mile tour will only take a little while, but count on no more than 2 tours per day. And don't expect Carolyn to tell you when the pavement ends- that's part of the adventure I suppose!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jon L. Albee TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had purchased quite a few of Blair's publications before I notice they had something in common. First, not only are these guidebooks of high quality, covering regions of Appalachia that are of particular interest to me, but they are all published by the same press - John F. Blair of Winston-Salem.

Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and Southwest, Northeastern Tennessee, and the Western North Carolina mountains and, DING, the light bulb came on! These are good books, across the board!

This one is now in its third edition, and is a real gem of a guide. Like the other books in the Blair series, this guide is organized into driving tours which emphasize architectural and natural landmarks along each route. They are NOT pragmatic guidebooks in terms of listings of restaurants, hotels, and tourist attractions. They are more cultural and historical guides, to give you a feeling for the meaning of the land you're traveling. They provide the contexts to pique your interest and leave the lodging and eating, generally, to other sources.

My one criticism of this book is slight: The guide focusses entirely on the rural areas and tiny villages along your routes. You don't get much feedback about the lovely towns in this region, including such places as Boone, Brevard, Asheville, Morganton, Hendersonville, Waynesboro, and Wilkesboro. Sakowski, the dedicated and skilled author, really wants to keep this book focused on country, and it shows. Blowing Rock and Highlands, as important resort centers, get a bit more page space.

I know this region, literally, like the back of my hand, and I can assure any reader that what they will find here is a well-written, accurate, comprehensive, and enjoyable book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By heyheyheywotisay on July 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads" really delivers. The book is detailed, the layout is outstanding and the maps are quite good. I found the way the tours are broken out in small manageable day or few day trips to be extremely useful. The book also has historical merit, as you learn a lot about the local history in the reading. When touring the "Piedmont" have this book with you!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RoyB on November 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been on many of these but the added details and history make this book worthwhile. Almost too much info for my purposes but good maps and point by point descriptions. A suggestion for future editions would be to add accessibility details. As the population ages this would make it much more useful.
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